Ocasio-Cortez calls out GOP lawmaker for ‘disrespect’ in heated exchange

“In the four years I’ve served on this committee, I’ve never seen a member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, disrespect a witness the way I saw them today,” Ocasio-Cortez told Raya Salter. executive director and founder of the Energy Justice Law and Policy Center and member of the New York State Climate Action Council.

“For the gentleman from Louisiana and the comfort he felt in yelling at you like that, there’s more than one way to get a point across,” the New York Democrat said, later apologizing to Salter on behalf of the committee.

Higgins, a Louisiana Republican, referred to Salter as a “good lady” and “boo” during the heated exchange.

“I’m not sure some of you are in touch with reality,” Higgins said before turning his attention to Salter. “Madam, good madam, please prepare your mind, for I am going to ask three questions. I will give you most of my time. I think it is good that America should hear what you have to say.”

He then asked Salter what he would do with petrochemicals if he had control of the world.

In response, Salter pleaded with Higgins, “Search your heart and ask your God, what are you doing to the black, poor people of Louisiana? That would be the first thing I ask.”

At one point, as the pair were talking over each other, Higgins told Salter: “I’m trying to get the word out, boo.”

CNN has reached out to Higgins’ office for comment.

In a tweet after the hearing, Salter shared a video of the exchange and wrote, “Thanks for the support! I don’t care about the fossil fuel folks!!!”
Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York also commented on the exchange via Twittersaying, “Little men resort to humble tactics when they don’t have the means to act decently,” and thanking Salter for his “great testimony and work to save us from climate catastrophe.”